Saturday, December 12, 2009


One peeve in this life of mine is the misuse of the word nauseous.
: nau·seous: \ˈn-shəs, ˈn-zē-əs\
Function: adjective
: causing nausea or disgust : nauseating
: affected with nausea or disgust

So if you feel compelled to tell me that you're nauseous, I can only assume that you believe yourself to be disgusting and could very well cause me to become ill. If you're feeling sick to your stomach, you might want to claim to be nauseated.

But the biggest annoyance in my life right now is the undetectable something that ails Hot Red Speed. She's still off and on (and off) and very, very vexing.

My car woes have become nauseous.


Sam said...

That's interesting. I'm not sure if I've ever used the word, but the second definition seems to support the common yet less desirable usage. I checked out my copy of Garner's Modern American Usage, and he asserts that using "nauseous" to describe experiencing nausea is okay in informal situations, listing it as Stage 4 (out of 5) in his Language-Change Index.

So you'll be nauseated to know that being nauseous is probably here to stay.

Billy Jo said...

YES! YES! A thousand times YES! Thank you for validating me and proving I'm not the only pedantic asshole left the world. ;)

Melissa said...

When someone tells me they are nauseous, I just can't help but think, "Let me be the judge of that."

whoinsamhill said...

I always thought nauseous was a feeling and nauseating was a cause for it. Here's a def:

  /ˈnɔʃəs, -ziəs/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [naw-shuhs, -zee-uhs] Show IPA
Use nauseous in a Sentence
See web results for nauseous
See images of nauseous
1. affected with nausea; nauseated: to feel nauseous.
2. causing nausea; sickening; nauseating.
3. disgusting; loathsome: a nauseous display of greed.
1595–1605; < L nauseōsus. See nausea, -ous

Related forms:
nau⋅seous⋅ly, adverb
nau⋅seous⋅ness, noun

3. revolting, nasty, repellent, abhorrent, detestable, despicable, offensive.

3. delightful.

Usage note:
The two literal senses of nauseous, “causing nausea” (a nauseous smell) and “affected with nausea” (to feel nauseous), appear in English at almost the same time in the early 17th century, and both senses are in standard use at the present time. Nauseous is more common than nauseated in the sense “affected with nausea,” despite recent objections by those who imagine the sense to be new. In the sense “causing nausea,” either literally or figuratively, nauseating has become more common than nauseous: a nauseating smell. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.

Be nice to your scooter and it will be nice to you!

A word I despise is codependent, which, while not nauseating infuriates me when used to describe my concern for a loved one.

The spark plug doesn't need changing, does it?

whoinsamhill said...

Whoops, forgot, December in the midwest not favorable weather for motor scooters.